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French silk pie

French Silk Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 4 hours (includes dough)
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours (includes chilling)
  • Yield: one 9-inch pie
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This French silk pie features my perfectly flaky pie crust, a smooth chocolate filling, and whipped cream on top. Read through the recipe and notes before beginning and use the video tutorial above as your guide.


Ingredients

Crust

Filling

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • two 4-ounce quality semi-sweet chocolate bars (113g each), finely chopped*
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoonconfectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar*
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional for garnish: chocolate curls*

Instructions

  1. Pie crust: I like to make sure my pie dough is prepared before I begin making this pie. Make pie dough the night before because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before rolling out and blind baking (next step).
  2. Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (use the 2nd pie crust for another recipe!). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is completely smooth. To make a lovely thick edge, I do not trim excess dough around the edges. Instead, fold the excess dough back over the edge and use your hands to mold the edge into a nice thick rim around the pie. Crimp the edges with a fork or use your fingers to flute the edges. You can see me do this in the video tutorial above. Carefully line the inside of the pie with two pieces of parchment paper or aluminum foil, as shown in the photos and video above, then pour in the pie weights. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish. Chill the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 30 minutes– this helps prevent the crust from shrinking. (You can actually fill with pie weights before or after chilling, it doesn’t make a difference.)
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  4. Blind-bake the crust: Bake the cold pie crust (with weights!) for 15 minutes. Remove pie from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper/aluminum foil (with the weights) out of the pie. Prick all over the bottom of the pie crust with a fork, which is called “docking” the pie crust and helps prevent air bubbles. Brush the edges of the crust with egg wash. Return the crust to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 12-15 more minutes.
  5. Cool pie crust completely. You can do this up to 3 days ahead of time. Cover cooled crust tightly and refrigerate until ready to fill.
  6. Start the filling: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Stiff peaks hold their peak shape and do not droop. Set whipped cream in the refrigerator (covered or uncovered, doesn’t matter) until step 8. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate. You can melt it in a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave: place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 20 second increments in the microwave, stopping and stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Set aside until the end of the next step.
  7. Cook the eggs: Whisk eggs and 1/2 cup (100g) sugar together in a heat-proof bowl or the top piece of a double boiler. Place over a pot of simmering water (or the bottom part of your double boiler). Do not let the surface of simmering water touch the bottom of the heat-proof bowl. Whisking constantly, cook the egg mixture until it reaches 160°F (71°C) on an instant read thermometer, about 10-11 minutes. Do not stop whisking or the eggs may solidify. If the steam gets too hot over your hand, use an oven mitt. Carefully remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. After cooling, slowly stir in the melted chocolate. To prevent curdling, cool for another 10 minutes before using in the next step.
  8. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining 1/2 cup (100g) of sugar together on medium-high speed until creamy and combined, at least 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, pour in the chocolate/egg mixture, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream until combined.
  9. Spread filling into cooled pie crust. (A small offset spatula is helpful for this.) Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours or overnight until chilled and thickened. Pie may be refrigerated for up to 2 days before serving.
  10. For the whipped cream topping: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks and are the perfect consistency for topping and piping on desserts. Pipe or spread the whipped cream on top. Garnish with chocolate curls (see notes), if desired. Serve immediately or chill the pie uncovered up to a few hours.
  11. Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The pie dough can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. There are plenty of ways to make this recipe ahead of time. See end of steps 5 and 9. You can also freeze the pie after step 9. Cover with an extra layer of plastic wrap before freezing. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator prior to topping with whipped cream and serving.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Pastry Blender, Rolling Pin, Glass Pie Dish or Ceramic Pie Dish, Parchment Paper, Pie Weights, Pastry Brush, Instant Read Thermometer
  3. Pie Crust: Both linked pie crust recipes make 2 crusts. You only need 1 crust for this pie, so freeze the 2nd half for another use. If using store-bought pie dough, you still need to blind-bake it. If needed, you can use a graham cracker crust or Oreo cookie crust instead of traditional pie crust. Pre-bake the cookie crust at 350°F (177°C) for 15 minutes. No need for pie weights if using a cookie crust.
  4. Chocolate: Filling will only set if the correct chocolate is used. I recommend using pure chocolate baking bars. You can find them right next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle. They are sold in 4 ounce bars. I like Bakers or Ghirardelli brands. I use and recommend semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use bittersweet or even unsweetened chocolate for a darker flavor.
  5. Sugar in whipped cream: Some bakers swear by granulated sugar in whipped cream; others swear by confectioners’ sugar. If you’re only working with a couple Tablespoons of sugar as listed in the recipe above, it doesn’t really make a difference. Use whichever.
  6. Garnish: You can leave the whipped cream on top plain or sprinkle with chocolate curls, mini chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles, or even toasted coconut.

Keywords: chocolate pie, chocolate